Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor says that White House officials interviewed her on three separate occasions prior to her meeting with President Barack Obama.
Sotomayor included a description of the nomination process in the completed questionnaire that she submitted today to the Senate Judiciary Committee. She wrote that White House Counsel Gregory Craig contacted her about a "future Supreme Court vacancy" on April 27, a few days before Justice David Souter announced his retirement. Since then, she wrote, she has talked frequently by telephone with Deputy White House Counsel Cassandra Butts.
Sotomayor said her first interview was May 14 in her New York office with Leslie Kiernan, a partner in the D.C. office of Zuckerman Spaeder. The second interview, by phone on May 16, included Craig, Vice President Joe Biden's Counsel Cynthia Hogan and Chief of Staff Ron Klain, and Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod. The third included many of the same players, plus Associate Counsel to the President Susan Davies and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.
The questionnaire includes a wealth of other details about Sotomayor's background and work on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. In response to questions about her finances, Sotomayor lists a net worth of $740,053. Her main asset is her residence, and her main liability is her mortgage. She mentions $15,823 in credit card bills and a $15,000 dentist bill.
The White House is touting how quickly it says Sotomayor and her advisers were able to complete the questionnaire, requiring nine days after the announcement of her nomination. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. needed 13 days, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg needed 15 days, and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. needed 30, the White House said in a statement. But Sotomayor also had the benefit of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) sending her the questionnaire quickly, requiring a day to finalize the questions they wanted her to answer.